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Johnny Bearpaws

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1046 Votes

Audience Awards

This film competed in
Art Montana Video Contest

Director(s): Sarah Maigin Smith

Johnny Bearpaws is a reservation comic strip tale created by my dad, Richard Smith - an architect, cartoonist, and free-wheeling, idea-connecting, music-loving, life-affirming, people-inspiring ninja. Johnny Bearpaws is based on his late brother, John, a Commanche/Chippewa Indian who worked in naval supply on aircraft carriers. The strip starts out as Johnny is returning home to the reservation after a 24-year world tour with the navy. The strip is in part a fictionalized account of my family's history, as well as a mixed slice of historical and modern reservation life; as Johnny re-enters civilian life hanging out with friends, bowling, shooting pool, drinking beer, following domestic and world events, and flirting with Rosie, the owner of the only bar in town.

  • Beautiful
  • Courageous
  • Fascinating
  • Funny
  • Informative
  • Ingenious
  • Inspiring